President Ouattara Committed to Transforming Côte d’Ivoire’s Agriculture

The Government of Côte d’Ivoire is committed to continually improve the agricultural sector which is key to its economic development. This was emphasized at the close of last week by His Excellency President Alassane Dramane Ouattara at a State House meeting on Friday with a high-level delegation ahead of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) to be hosted in the country’s capital Abidjan later this year, 4-8 September.

The delegation, led by Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Founder of Econet Wireless and Board Chair, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), briefed the President on preparations made for the AGRF and how critical this forum is to furthering the agricultural transformation priorities of the country, and also the entire continent. The President and the delegation discussed how to unlock greater investments in the country and agricultural value chains throughout the region. Others in the delegation included Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and Mr. Fadel Ndiame, AGRA’s Regional Head for West Africa.

“We are pleased to host this landmark Forum and look forward to welcoming agricultural and development leaders from Africa and around the world to our country in September,” said President Ouattara.

“Our country has consistently recorded impressive economic development in the last few years with agriculture as one of the main drivers of this growth. Increased agricultural output is a key pillar of our National Development Plan aimed at guiding the country into emerging nation status by 2020. As such, we will continue improving the sector and call on our partners to take advantage of the enabling environment we are creating to invest in agriculture,” added the President.

The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) is a platform for global and African leaders to develop actionable plans that will move African agriculture forward. Established in 2010, it has emerged as Africa’s premier agricultural gathering that brings together a range of critical stakeholders in the African agriculture landscape to discuss and develop concrete plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa.

Côte d’Ivoire, the first francophone African country to host the Forum, is hailed for its leadership in placing agriculture at the heart of its economic transformation. It is among a few select African countries that have made the biggest investments in agriculture resulting in sizeable increases in both farm productivity and overall economic performance. These countries provide a shining example of agriculture’s potential to turnaround the continent’s economic fortunes.

“We are very grateful to President Ouattara and his Government for the leadership he continues to provide in championing agriculture as Africa’s surest path to inclusive economic growth and job creation, as well as for hosting this year’s AGRF,” said Mr. Masiyiwa.

“Evidence from elsewhere in the world show that no region has developed a diverse, modern economy without first establishing a successful agriculture sector. This holds true for Africa, where the agriculture sector has the greatest potential to create jobs for the 10-12 million new young workers that enter the African job market every year,” he added.

Immediately following the meeting with President Ouattara, Hon. Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Côte d’Ivoire, signed the host-country Memorandum of Understanding with Dr. Kalibata of AGRA, as a further testament of the country’s commitment to make this AGRF a success.

With the theme of “Accelerating Africa’s Path to Prosperity: Growing Inclusive Economies and Jobs through Agriculture”, the September Forum will be an opportunity to showcase ongoing progress in Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda and scale up the political, policy, and financial commitments needed to achieve the Malabo Declaration and global agenda around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It will also explore innovations and actions on the ground that ensure smallholder farmers and small rural agriculture businesses are at the heart of driving and benefitting from Africa’s agricultural transformation.

Importantly, the Forum will look at how governments, businesses, and other partners are coming through on the over US$ 30 Billion worth of political, policy, and financial commitments made at last year’s AGRF 2016 in Nairobi, as well as secure new commitments and welcome new champions.

Co-hosted by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, AGRA, and the African Development Bank, the Forum will be attended by over 750 delegates and high level dignitaries including current and former African Heads of State, agriculture and finance ministers, business leaders, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society, media, scientists, development partners and technical partners.

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